‘1,300 black spots identified to tackle road accidents’


New Delhi: More than 1,300 “black spots” – or areas prone to fatal road accidents have been identified across the country – including in Aligarh, the Hero Honda Chowk in Gurgaon and Rajiv Chowk in New Delhi, in an attempt to tackle rising number of road accidents, a top official said Tuesday.

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Nitin R. Gokarn, joint secretary, ministry of road transport and highways, said that of the 1,300 “black spots”, they had zeroed in on 25 sites that topped in fatalities.

“These spots have been identified for their huge fatalities, due to reasons like over speeding, heavy traffic, the way in which the roads intersect etc,” said Gokarn at an event here.

The authorities were examining how to manage the traffic better at these “black spots” to avert road accidents, he said.

Addressing a “Face to Face with the government” as part of the FICCI Ladies Organisation or FLO, Gokarn said in Aligarh there were 170 fatalities in a year.

Giving statistics, the official said there was a fatality every nine minutes due to road accidents in the country.

“There are 5 lakh accidents in the country every year and 1.4 lakh deaths due to accidents. This works out to an accident every four minutes and a fatality every nine minutes,” Gokarn said.

The major proportion of accidents was from Tier-II cities, where people tend to break traffic rules more, he added. “The fatalities are much more in Tier-II cities,” he added.

Stating that people tend to flout road rules with impunity, Gokarn said one reason was “lack of enforcement”.

He said that “quantum increase in penalties” for breaking traffic rules was in the offing as soon as the Motor Vehicle (Amendment) Bill is cleared by parliament. It has been cleared by the Rajya Sabha and was awaiting passage by the Lok Sabha, he informed.

Gokarn said people in the country don’t have the culture of “road user behavior” and tend to ignore rules relating to right of way, use of service roads among other things.

Explaining how speed could turn fatal, he said for a motorcycle being driven at beyond 20 kmph the chance of an accident is high. “In the case of a bike being driven at beyond 40 kmph, the risk of accident is exponential and beyond 80 kmph, fatality is certain,” he added.

He also said that there were no scientific studies on road safety,